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Supportive boots for horses

From: Sandy

Dear Jessica, Here I am with another question. I can't say enough how kind you are to answer everyone's questions. Your help is really appreciated by us all.

Recently, I discovered that my horse, Penny, had torn a tendon -- the deep digital flexor tendon. I suspected this, and the vet did an ultrasound and spotted a very tiny tear. Luckily, I caught it before Penny even became lame, so her chances of healing are good. However, when I do start riding her again, lots of people have suggested using Sports Medicine Boots. Most people like Professional's Choice, but someone told me you prefer Les Vogt Pro Equine boots.

Why do you think these are better? I searched the Horse-Sense archives, and I couldn't find anything about them, so maybe you told this person privately.

Also, what do you think about using boots like this for added support so that Penny is less likely to tear her tendon again? Are they worth getting and using? TIA.

Sandy


Hi Sandy! I'm sorry to hear about Penny's tendon, but good on you for catching it in time and having the leg ultrasounded.

What does your vet think about the idea of using support boots? Before I put ANYTHING on Penny's legs, I'd want to have input from the professional who is working on her, both in terms of what you need to do for her during the recovery process, and what you'll need to do for her afterward, to get her back into peak condition.

In terms of support, the ProEquine boots currently "outrank" the Professional's Choice boots, and I find their design and construction to be better. For instance, the two layers of material that make up the outside and inside of the boots are glued all along their surfaces instead of just in lines or spots, and this makes it less likely that the boots will develop folds, bubbles, wrinkles, or other irregularities in their linings. Having said that, though, I should also say that I used Professional's Choice boots for several years with no significant problems, and the company offers a deep discount each spring on close-out styles and colours, so don't write off this product. ;-)

The ProEquine boots are now being made and sold by a large, reputable, mainstream company, Farnam, so you should be able to find them more easily. It's best not to be "married" to any particular product -- I try to keep abreast of the research and read the various testing protocols and results, so that I have more to go on than just what I see for myself. Sometimes this means changing over to a different product, whether that product happens to be boots, blankets, or probiotics.

It does take some time to do "homework" on these subjects, but it can save you money and trouble in the long term. I find that the competition between different companies to create a better product DOES often result in a better product being created, so keep an eye out for new research results that may tell you more about support boots in general and these boots in particular.

Instead of buying any boots right now, I suggest you invest in a copy of "The Bowed Tendon Book" by Tom Ivers. It may be your best friend for the next few months. Good luck!

Jessica

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